DP World acquires Unifeeder for $764m

DP World is broadening its logistics base with the EUR660m  ($763.8m) acquisition of the Unifeeder Group from Nordic Capital Fund VIII and certain minority shareholders.

The Aarhus, Denmark-based logistics firm operates the largest and most densely connected common user container feeder and an important and growing shortsea network in Europe, serving both deep-sea container hubs and the intra-Europe container freight market. The group saw revenues of EUR510m in 2017 and pre-tax profit margins in line with other asset-light logistics operators.

The acquisition, which will be funded from existing resources, is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year after completion, DP World said in a press release. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The acquisition of Unifeeder will further enhance DP World’s presence in the global supply chain and broaden its product offering and ultimately reduce inefficiencies and improve the competitiveness of global trade. The current operations of Unifeeder are complementary to DP World’s existing business and provides future growth opportunities. Jefferies acted as joint financial adviser to Unifeeder on the sale.

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Unifeeder, founded in 1977, is an integrated logistics company with the largest and best-connected feeder and growing shortsea network in Northern Europe with connectivity to approximately 100 ports. The company provides efficient and sustainable transport solutions for international container shipping lines between international and regional ports and shortsea services to cargo owners with fully multimodal door-to-door solutions, combining seaborne transportation with road and/or rail. The business is cash generative and operates on a highly flexible cost base.

DP World group chairman and ceo Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “We are delighted to add the Unifeeder brand under the DP World umbrella, which supports our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.

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“The ever-growing deployment of ultra-large container vessels has made high-quality connectivity from hub terminals crucial for our customers and Unifeeder is a best-in-class logistics provider in this space with a strong reputation in Europe. Our aim is to leverage on the in-house expertise of Unifeeder and to accelerate growth in this scalable platform to deliver value for all stakeholders. Unifeeder operates on the same common-user principle as DP World and adds to the group’s strong value proposition to international shipping lines and end cargo owners in making the global supply chain more efficient and cost effective.”

Unifeeder ceo Jesper Kristensen said: “We are excited to join the DP World Group as we believe that Unifeeder will benefit from the group’s significant expertise in the wider supply chain and excellent relationships with shipping lines and end cargo owners. Not only is there commonality with our business models but we also share the vision of serving our customers through removing inefficiencies and delivering sustainable shareholder value. We have enjoyed great success over the last five years under Nordic Capital’s ownership, and we believe that the Unifeeder brand within the DP World Group has the opportunity to accelerate growth, expand further and take the business to the next level.” 

Posted 07 August 2018

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Vincent Wee

Asia Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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